Alex Lifeson is a legend. More importantly, he’s a legend that’s never been afraid of musical change. The early Rush albums introduced fans to a hard edged and very distinctive guitar sound; the classic era of Rush from 1980-91 found him exploring various cleaner sonic textures that were distinctive in a very different way, but equally as cool. His Victor project from 1996 showed how his complex approach could be applied to a whole range of rock moods, and while some of that album’s heavier moments didn’t sit well with everyone, it was a very interesting release.
This week sees the release of the much anticipated debut from Envy of None. The new band features ex-Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson and ex-Coney Hatch man Andy Curran, and promises to be one of the year’s big albums on the prog rock calendar.
In addition, the band are issuing a strictly limited (500 copies) worldwide single of ‘Enemy’, with all monies earnt being donated to the UNCHR Ukraine Emergency Response. The news comes barely twelve hours after David Gilmour’s announcement that a reconvened Pink Floyd had recorded a new track and would be donating all profits to aid the Ukraine crisis. [Watch the new video here.]
During their forty three year career, Rush released nineteen studio albums, a covers EP and eleven official live albums. In addition, a couple of extra archive live shows have been released as part of super-deluxe reissues of a couple of their 70s albums. Whichever way you look at it, they had a truly impressive career – one that would put many other prog bands to shame.
What’s more, Rush made relatively few bad records. With such longevity, of course, some are better than others; some are heavier than others; some seem more complex than others. Almost miraculously, only one or two missed the mark across a five decade stretch.
If you like Rush, though, more often than not, you love the band and don’t need steering through their extensive catalogue. However, for those yet to take the plunge properly (and for those who love a good debate), we present our “Super Seven” – a look at the seven discs we consider to give the Rush novice the very best overview.
2014 began a comprehensive Rush reissue programme with a deluxe replica repressing of the band’s 1974 debut LP.
Rush fans will be pleased to note that 2015 is set to bring a whole host of Rush reissues, when their works between 1975-1988 get the heavyweight vinyl treatment, each with a download code. ‘Fly By Night’, ‘A Farewell To Kings’ and ‘Signals’ will also be released on blu ray audio disc.